By Angela Casco

lego featured image

The spare time from home quarantine can be used in different ways. Some people clean, learn a new skill, cook or bake, or do home repairs—projects that are productive that can take the mind off boredom and anxiety.

This is what Stephan Tiujanco did with his quarantine time when he created Lego designs of centuries-old structures inside the Walled City of Intramuros.

The creations, which he posted on his Facebook page called “Atelier Tiujanco,” feature the San Agustin Church, Sto. Domingo Church, San Francisco Church, San Nicolas de Tolentino Church, Palacio del Gobernador, Casas Consistoriales, Manila Cathedral and Plaza Mayor, San Ignacio Church, and Lourdes Church.

#TravelFromHome with these LEGO My Own Creation art from Atelier Tiujanco of old structures in Intramuros.

#WeAreIntramuros #ItsMoreFuninthePhilippines #MgaKuwentongPamana #NHM2020

Posted by Intramuros Administration on Wednesday, May 13, 2020

An architecture graduate of the University of Sto. Tomas (UST), Stephan has always had an appreciation for pre-war structures, so much so that he made a microscale version of the campus’ EspaƱa main building and later, the Metropolitan Theater, or simply, MET.

“The reason why I want to do structures from the past is because I want to showcase the beauty of our country before the destruction caused by World War II,” he tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “[I also wanted] to point out sadly that, as we neglect the few remaining pre-war structures that we have here in the Philippines, the more we are forgetting how strong, patriotic, disciplined, and cultured we were as a nation during those times.”

To make the designs as realistic as possible, Stephan used photos provided by Intramuros Administration (IA) and “a lot of online research” for reference, taking into consideration “a lot of vantage points to get the scale and proportion right.”

Stephan also took advantage of the Lego Digital Designer (LDD), a freeware computer program that allows users to build models using virtual and unlimited Lego bricks.

“I have also tried to incorporate the details if and when possible,” he says. “The goal is to approximate the look, the style, and the scale.”

Currently, Stephan is working on designing more, including structures along Plaza Mayor, San Juan De Dios Church, and a military hospital. The possibilities for him are endless.

These structures are reminders of our glorious past. My hope is that by making people aware of how rich we were culturally in the past, it could inspire us to attain that level of nationhood again

“I could recreate the whole Intramuros out of Lego all on the same scale, so there is uniformity,” he says. “If ever, I could also assemble it all to provide insight as to how these buildings interacted with one another back then. Maybe I’ll try to assemble it using physical bricks, too, and possibly donate it to a museum.”

Stephan’s designs are strictly not for sale, though many have left comments on his post, asking how much they can pay for his work. Lego bricks have to be sourced locally or abroad, too.

“I just enjoy posting my work and making people aware of our culture,” he says. “I could share the LDD file via email.”

While his designs are for Lego use, Stephan hopes his project can encourage cultural awakening among the young generation, more than just fun and play.

“These structures are reminders of our glorious past,” he says. “My hope is that by making people aware of how rich we were culturally in the past, it could inspire us to attain that level of nationhood again.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (